Lady ‘Cats on the up

Jane Donahue

The women certainly aren’t ugly, but they aren’t scared to play and win ugly.

Against Seton Hall, the ladies found themselves in a battle, scoring only 54 points, but holding the Pirates to 43 to get the crucial Big East win.

The game in South Orange was highlighted by Jackie Adamshick scoring almost half the team’s points, with 23, and leading Nova in minutes. She also had six rebounds, a team high.

The ladies were uncharacteristically mashed on the boards, 44-29, but took advantage of poor shooting (caused by their stingy defense). The win allows the women to control their own destiny for seeding in the Conference tournament. One more victory, and they will be assured of a bye in the first round.

Over the weekend the team took on the St. John’s Red Storm at home in the Pavillion, finishing an impressive 65-51 over the visitors.

“We are playing better as a team” says senior guard Sarita Hatcher regarding their recent winning streak. “They were both huge wins because they keep our NCAA tournament chances alive.”

The team had a cohesive performance before an audience full of Nova grads and families there for the alumni game earlier that day. Former players in attendance presented Coach Harry Perretta with a gift for hitting a milestone in his winning record.

Not even ten minutes into the first half, Villanova already commanded a twelve point lead over St. John’s, with junior forward Liad Suez contributing seven points.

Holding their lead throughout the remainder of the first half, the Wildcats went to half time with a score of 35-17.

The team fought hard to hold onto its lead during the second half; still the Red Storm at best could only take away nine points from Villanova’s eighteen point advantage.

The ‘Cats kept an increasing distance after that, at one point holding a twenty point lead, thanks in large part to strong performances by multiple players. Liad Suez finished the game with seventeen points against St. John’s, along with senior guard Jennifer Hilgenberg’s twelve points and the nine points from junior forward Kate Dessart Mager.

“Beating St. John’s was huge for us. We need to win games like that, especially at home, because the Big East standings are so close we need to do everything we can to separate ourselves from the pack if we want to make the NCAA tournament,” said junior guard Betsy McManus. McManus recently stepped in as starting point guard for junior Jenna Vianni, who tore her ACL not too long ago.

“We are struggling with consistency right now. We have our ups and downs, but right now we seem to be on the up,” said sophomore forward Clarisse Garcia. They look to follow up Saturday’s big win, further improving their position for NCAA prospects.

As of now, their total record stands at 17-8, with a 10-4 record for Big East performance.

They head down to Washington to play the Hoyas on Saturday at 2:00pm.